“Palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy.” Eminem wasn’t rapping about outbound phone calls but the symptoms described can be just the same unless you’re prepared.
Those symptoms will either hinder your sales activity or energize your performance. In this article, we’re going to look at the necessity for phone calls in sales and how to overcome our fears of rejection and failure that feed our sales performance.
In today’s age we have become reliant on communicating through email, social networks and text messaging. This means those channels are overused and saturated. Somewhere along the way we’ve lost sight of the importance and effectiveness of a phone call and verbal communication.
While email might be a more convenient tool reaching the masses quickly, it is not necessarily the most effective. We can certainly infer that most younger generations entering the workplace prefer to communicate through email and other digital channels. However, only after we’ve established a relationship with a prospect or client can we cater to their communication preferences. Until then, use what will heighten your odds of success, turn heads and grab their attention. You might have the best subject line ever written or selling the hottest product, but until the reader knows you or has qualified you and your content, your message will be dismissed. Once the relationship is formed you’ll have higher open and response rates.
If you want to get the attention of a lead pick up the phone and talk to them. Straight text-based or written communication is often misinterpreted because it loses your expression, vocal inflections, tone, and energy. Here’s the deal, you’ve got amazing social skill and people like you which is why you’re a successful salesperson. Losing the essence of your personality is a major loss to the effectiveness of your sales strategy. A verbal conversation allows you to clearly communicate your message, showcase your personality and start a dialogue with your clients. Creating this dialogue works in your favor to better understand your client's needs, answer questions more quickly and provide more thorough explanations in your pitch. You’ll also be able to collect information, learning more about your client's behavior and buying habits to gain advantages on future opportunity. Sure, Phone calls interrupt our day and catch us off guard whereas emails offer scheduled responses and we’re able to clearly think through and articulate our message clearly. I’m not saying emails are bad, they certainly have their place in the sales process and in maintaining relationships but only after we’ve initiated a dialogue and established a baseline relationship.
Easy does not equate to effective. Sure sending out 50 emails is easier and you might feel good about yourself by blasting the masses. However, you’ll find that most messages will go unopened and unanswered. Many salespeople are reluctant to use the telephone because they fear rejection and hearing the word “no.” These salespeople lack confidence and sound awkward because of it. There is no doubt that when selling through phone conversations you will actually hear the word “no” more frequently which can be difficult to stomach and deteriorate your confidence if you’re not prepared to hear it. In those situations, it’s important to remember that a deleted, unopened or un-responded email is just the same as “No,” you’re just not hearing them say it. Your advantage in verbal conversations is the opportunity to combat rejection instantly and directly while potentially uncovering alternative opportunities.
How to formulate an effective phone call to engage in conversation and create an ongoing dialogue:
1. Use their name (it's a beautiful word)
2. Get to the point and be confident
3. Have a clear message
4. Give them a reason, the “Why” behind your call
5. Don’t be scripted or cheesy
When working the phone correctly, you will qualify more leads, generate more opportunities, schedule more appointments more quickly and close more deals. Set aside a dedicated block of time for phone sales and be more successful.